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Graphic photo of Oscar Taveras’ body began to circulate social media after his death

oscar-taveras

The baseball world is mourning the tragic passing of St. Louis Cardinals prospect Oscar Taveres and it appears thanks to a ghoulish practice by some reporters, a photo of his corpse, taken at the morgue, has begun to circulate social media, according to a report from Jorge L. Ortiz of USA Today Sports.

Taveres, 22, along with a female companion, were killed in a car crash in his native Dominican Republic on Sunday night. Police reports indicate that Taveres lost control of his Camaro around a curve and crashed into a tree.

The Associated Press later reported that Taveres likely was driving at a “very high speed” on roads that were wet from recent rains, according to a quote provided by Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokesman Diego Pesqueira.

His funeral is planned for Tuesday, but not before photos began circulating of Taveres’ bruised and battered upper torso and “mangled” face.

According to Lieutenant Colonel Jose Armando Brito, a spokesman for the national police force that has jurisdiction over the Puerto Plaza, the location of Tavares’ accident, a common practice in the Dominican Republic is for reporters to try to secure graphic photos of the body following tragic situations such as Tavares’ death.

“It’s common here for those kind of photos to circulate without any kind of objections,” Brito said in Spanish, via USA Today. “If they were suppressed, people would claim their freedoms are being abridged. They’re not aware of the psychological impact these photos could have on the relatives and on people who shouldn’t see these kind of things. It’s very impactful.”

Among those who shared the graphic photo on Twitter was Carlos Martinez, a fellow Dominican and Cardinals pitcher.

Along with the photograph of Taveres’ body, Martinez tweeted, in Spanish, “Brother, why did you leave? Tell me why.”

Martinez’s post featuring the graphic photo has since been deleted.Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan tweeted that San Francisco Giants outfielder Juan Perez, a close friend of Taveres, happened upon the grisly photo at some point during Game 5 of the World Series on Sunday night but somehow managed to compose himself enough to continue playing.One has to wonder what would motivate somebody to seek out such disturbing images, but as Brito noted, this is typical in the region. It arguably doesn’t make the grim practice seem any less sensationalistic or troubling, but it lends some sense of perspective to why it occurred in this particular instance.